When Susan received word that she had been admitted to both Harvard University and Brown University, she asked her father for help in making the choice. "Both schools are excellent," he said, "but I think you should sleep on the decision." No sooner had he said the words than the doorbell rang. At the door was a deliveryman who said he was lost and needed directions. He was wearing a sweatshirt that carried one word in large crimson type: Harvard.
David was restless. Things weren't going well for him at work and with a big client meeting the next day, he was finding it difficult to sleep. Staring at the ceiling at 4 a.m., he was overcome by a powerful urge to turn on the radio. Following his intuition, he clicked a button and heard Bob Marley's voice chanting over and over again, "Everything is gonna be all right, everything is gonna be all right." Calmed by the rhythm, he fell back to sleep.
Barreling along in pouring rain, Michael was lost on an unfamiliar road. He had just been to the doctor's office to get his test results and the news was not good. "Please, God, help me," he was pleading over and over in his head. "If there's anything else I can do, please show me the way." The screeching siren that pierced his thoughts came from a police car pulling Michael over to the side of the road. Despite the light beaming out from the officer's flashlight, Michael was still able to see the billboard in the background, which read, Miracles Can Happen. Do Not Despair.
Are these coincidences? Signs? Messages? In my opinion, all of the above. I believe God was speaking to Susan, to David, and to Michael in the new language; that is, God's mother tongue, the way He's been talking to us since Biblical times.
Going as far back as Moses and the burning bush, God has been using sign language to get through to us. In the Bible story that is told in Exodus, Moses was tending his flock in the desert when he came to the mountain of Horeb. Now, in my opinion, Moses must have been a very clever fellow, because when God showed him a burning bush in the middle of the desert, he didn't miss a beat -- Moses knew that God was speaking and wanted him to help set the Israelites free.
When Noah, his family, and the animals marched off the ark after forty days and forty nights of rain, God sent a rainbow as a covenant between Him and the souls who would replenish the earth. Noah understood. Later on, Abraham saw a ram as he was about to sacrifice his son Isaac and knew God had other plans.
After Biblical times, organized religions began springing up around the world. I believe this may be when the direct connection between God and mankind was interrupted. As early religions took root, the power became concentrated in a few hands. A hierarchy was established, with priests, rabbis, seers, and others acting as middlemen between God and us. The power brokers and other self-anointed intermediaries clearly enjoyed telling the rest of the folks what to think and what to do. A great many man-made rules and dogmas were established, and in no time people were down on their knees reciting the "right" prayers at the "right" time of day -- as if God were an obsessive-compulsive ego who kept a tight schedule. The God who had made man in His divine image must have had a real chuckle as He watched man remaking Him along human lines. Did God stop talking because man wasn't listening? It's hard to know, but there seems to have been a suppression of the language. Church and state were virtually the same for thousands of years, and people in fear for their lives became parrots to the position of whatever government or religious institution was in power.
As time moved on, the Western world was plunged into the Dark Ages. During this 1,000-year stretch, none save Joan of Arc reported getting any news from God -- and she came to an unenviable fate. While Joan was being tied to the stake and torched, most people were off fighting holy wars that meant death and havoc for millions of others.
When the Enlightenment arrived in the seventeenth century, the rational mind was emphasized, giving way to the rise of science. There is no denying that science has brought tremendous advances to health care and the workplace -- we owe so much to conveniences and technology. However, most scientists are absolutely useless when it comes to the spiritual needs of society, perhaps because they can't test, measure, or dissect them. Truth for them has to be weighed and tabulated. Launching the technological revolution, the scientists put machines first. They substituted the rhythm of the machine for the rhythm of the soul. Anyone who has seen the great Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times will know what I mean. A man on the assembly line becomes a slave to the clock.
After the assembly line, the conveyor belt, and the atom bomb came the revival in the 1970s of nineteenth-century Prussian philosopher Frederich Nietzsche's declamation that "God is dead," which may have unwittingly triggered the fighting spirit in the rest of us to discover our true spirituality. Our soul was crying out to recover.
And, in fact, we are recovering. The shift is now occurring. Since the middle of the twentieth century, when the human-potential movement began, we have been searching to find our way back to God. Fueled by a deep and unsatisfied craving, an awareness that the power must pass from the few to the many has been growing. Many of us want to control our own spiritual destiny, even if we enjoy participating in spiritual community and worship. On a very intuitive level, we want to have our own conversation with God, a more direct tie as Moses had. Spurred on by Freud and Jung, who deepened our self-knowledge, we have figured out that if we tame the ego we can become our very best selves, our spiritual selves, and be in an ongoing dialogue with the wonderful God who is there to help and guide us.
With His incredible sense of timing, God knows that the shift is taking place and He is aware of the window of opportunity that opened with the dawn of the new millennium. Ever ready to welcome us back, God has a whole repertory of techniques He is using to get our attention. He uses so-called coincidences and synchronicities -- unplanned interactions between two or more people -- and His messages are carried to us at very important moments in books and billboards, in poems and on the radio. God finds us where we live and He is definitely multimedia. Some may say this is all wild and crazy wishful thinking, the product of my vivid imagination. But I will tell you that to dismiss what I'm saying is to miss out on an extraordinary relationship with God that can bring you guidance, strength, and peace of mind.
Pain and Suffering
Humans are the souls who choose to come to earth to learn and grow by taking on a physical body. Earth is a school with stiff requirements for the souls who make the trip. First of all, every soul has a lesson plan, and pain and suffering are the teachers. Nobody on earth escapes heartache. Pain seems to be the hallmark of the human condition. But if you stop and think about it, pain can be a blessing in disguise. Pain tests our attitudes. It often sneaks up on us and strikes when we least expect it. Will we be models of optimism like Michael J. Fox, who called his autobiography about living with Parkinson's disease Lucky Man? Or will we allow adversity to crush us? We have a choice.
Pain provides us with an opportunity to discover our strengths, to help us stretch and grow, to realize that we are spiritual beings with great powers. If we are anything like one of my favorite characters, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, the pain helps us to realize there's no place like home. Through suffering, we reach out for help and try to get back to the source.
Mrs. Schuler, who taught Sunday School when I was a boy growing up in Baptist Birmingham, had some very fixed views about God. She conveyed an impression of God as an old man with a long, white beard sitting in a big gold throne holding the Judgment book in His hand. Those who see God this way have my respect, but my vision has changed dramatically in my six decades of life. I now see God as a vortex of energy -- pure, powerful, and the source of all life, including our own. Being of God makes each of us an indestructible bit of divine energy -- a soul, if you will.
In the earth school, where pain is the teacher, energy is the unifying force. Energy is not only the basis of all solid matter -- it's also the substance out of which all of our emotions and thoughts are made. That's why it is so important to be mindful of what we think and feel, to be constructive with our thoughts and emotions, and not let grievances and ill intentions hang over us. The tiny, energetic pulses radiating out of our hearts and our minds can carry a positive or a negative charge. That charge influences both the force field around us as well as the larger universe.
Einstein said we live in an energy universe, and, of course, we do. Matter is energy slowed down, and massive energy is released when the smallest particles of matter are divided. Each human being is a divinely charged energy system, part of God's cosmic design. When you share what is in your heart with someone else, there is an energy exchange as emotions pass between two people. When you make love, that, too, is an energy exchange, an intermingling of force fields. Energy is also involved in some of life's darker transactions. When one person manipulates another person, that is an energy grab. Perhaps you've met an energy vampire -- someone you feel sucks you dry each time you meet or talk. Energy is really at the bottom of a great many activities because that is God's design and we are His work of art.
The new language, God's language, is also an energy system -- a divine one -- that can be useful in encouraging us, making us feel connected, and steering us in the right direction. Our task is to engage the energy flow. As we begin our journey of discovery of how to do this, here is one secret word that I offer to anyone in need of help: Ask. Remember that line in the Bible, "Ask and you shall receive"? Well, when you aren't sure if you are headed in the right direction, ask for help. Ask often and with an open heart. Throughout each day, check in with God and see what you hear or see or learn. Become sensitive to the new language and the guidance it offers. Like any skill, your sensitivity to God's guidance will develop slowly and with practice. That's the journey we are going on in this book. Clearing, listening, practicing, and refining our skills.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have a confession to make. I didn't always know this language and how to use it to hear God -- to go where He led, to do what He told me was wise. It took a long time for me to get there. And I still make a lot of mistakes. I was the prodigal child and I went astray. I had a lot to learn. A wise man once said that we teach what we need to learn. So, let's begin with my story, how I came to clear and eventually hear God in the language I speak today.
Copyright © 2003 by Albert Clayton Gaulden
Finding Peace, Joy, and Direction from Coincidences, Synchronicities, and Angel Murmurs--and Other Ways God Speaks
Signs and Wonders
Finding Peace, Joy, and Direction from Coincidences, Synchronicities, and Angel Murmurs--and Other Ways God Speaks
Have you ever disregarded a hunch that was later proved as fact?
Have you ever had a dream...and watched it come true?
If prayer is about talking to God,
Signs and Wonders is about listening for God's answers.
Albert Clayton Gaulden, founder and director of the Sedona Intensive, believes that God speaks to us personally in a language that is rich in symbol and coincidence, offering messages and guidance we can put to use every day to solve our problems and gain peace, joy, and direction. In Signs and Wonders, Gaulden teaches us how to open ourselves up to the language of God, and open ourselves to a more meaningful life.
How can we listen to God? How can God help us to understand the answers to our prayers? How can we learn to ward off worry, fear, doubt, and despair? Signs and Wonders contains practical strategies, anecdotes, case studies, and stories of personal transformation that can help us to clear God's channel -- the way we listen -- and master a new form of communication. For when we learn to be receptive to God's language, we can begin to benefit from its grace.